Bismarck – It’s 35 days until voters head to the polls. Over the past few weeks the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh and allegations against him have dominated the news.
Senator Heitkamp has just over 30 days to convince voters why she deserves to be re-elected, but it might not be her decisions over the last four years, but come down to a single decision— the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh that makes or breaks her chances.
Following Friday’s intense testimony of Brett Kavenaugh, Senator Heidi Heitkamp announced she was one of three democrats that were undecided on whether or not they would vote to confirm Kavanaugh to the supreme court.
Heitkamp says she wants to wait until the FBI investigation is complete before making her decision.
But the decision to remain undecided, could put the incumbent in a no-win scenario with voters, In fact a recent poll done by Gray Television before Kavanaugh’s hearing showed Heitkamp trailing challenger Kevin Kramer by 10 percentage points, with 8-percent of voters still undecided. The poll also showed that 60-percent of North Dakota voters support Kavanaugh compared to just 24-percent against him, meaning a no-vote by Senator Heitkamp could have a impact on who votes for her.
I talked with a political scientist about Heitkamps actions.
“If she’s waiting until after the investigation, it may be out of her hands, because on average, that could take three to six weeks, and so, if it goes past the election date, and now she’s waited too long, she may now be re-elected”. Said Mark Springer, an Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Mary.
But pressure is mounting on Senator Heitkamp to make a decision on how she plans to vote, there’s even a new ad campaign being rolled out today by the Judicial Crisis Network urging Heitkamp to vote yes in the confirmation process.
Voters I talked to say their mixed on Senator Heitkamp’s decision.
“It affects me, because i know if she has any chance at all she’s going to vote against kavanaugh, and i think Kavanaugh’s the man for the job” Said Voter Mark Springer
“A lot of people that actually voted for her the first time, they did say that they were surprised, that she didnt come outright and say it, I think they were disappointed, that they wouldn’t know whether or not she was gonna vote, which way or the other. And Probably change their vote drastically for the senate race then.” Said Voter Shawn Volk.
No matter what Heitkamp ultimately decides to do regarding Kavanaugh, one thing that remains certain is the race should stay close until voters head to the polls.